Tips to being a smart college shopper.

Be a Smart College Shopper:

  1. Don’t overbuy your college tuition.
  2. Know that a low tuition doesn’t mean a low quality of education.
  3. Don’t buy solely based on a brand name or random statistics.
  4. Avoid “impulse buying” – geography, alma mater, etc.
  5. Avoid “dumb shopping” – buying based on name of university and not based on the program. Some unknown colleges/universities can have some incredible programs.
  6. Avoid admission myopia – concerned only with getting into a college but not as concerned as getting out. How long will it take you? How will you handle work?
  7. Know what true 4 year cost of college is. You need to know the all-in costs – tuition AND fees, room and board, miscellaneous expenses, travel costs, etc.
  8. Make sure to do some comparison shopping.
  9. Avoid depending solely on college-wide stats.
  10. Ignore college rankings and don’t rely on college guides – conflict of interest.
  11. Be extra careful when pursuing community college option as a way to save money. Sure they can be a great option but just make sure you’re getting what you want.
  12. Know what your community college can do for you.
  13. Stay involved AFTER you’ve made your purchase. Parents need to stay involved.
  14. Find value by focusing on elements of learning.
  15. Find a professional college planner.